Nothing Happens in Isolation: Common Examples of Software Licensing Mistakes

November 29, 2016
Editorial Staff


Editorial Staff

It’s easy to focus on a single aspect of an IT project, especially when implementing new solutions, upgrading systems, or simply changing software vendors. Anytime something in the environment changes, it’s likely going to touch many areas of your business and impact other solutions already in place. Because of this you have to consider what systems, applications, devices, and users will be touched by this new solution.

A critical mistake I see over and over again is teams working in silos. Unfortunately, nothing happens in isolation. Having spent a number of years working with organizations on their software license needs, I’ve decided to share some wisdom on some common mistakes that can easily be avoided.

Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft

The vast majority of organizations deploy Microsoft solutions. Many organizations assign either a single individual or a small group to manage their Microsoft licenses or contracts, often in addition to other tasks. When evaluating Microsoft technologies, they’re not always aware of other solutions, like Citrix, or the impact other solutions like XenDesktop have on their Microsoft agreement.

In addition, the individuals or teams working with Citrix are unaware of Microsoft rules related to XenDesktop. Since XenDesktop runs on Remote Desktop Services (RDS), Microsoft requires licenses on end users, devices, or a mix of both with RDS CALs. This leads to one of two licensing (often costly) mistakes:

  1. XenDesktop is licensed and Microsoft RDS CALs are not.
  2. XenDeskop is licensed in the concurrent licensing model and Microsoft RDS CALs are licensed to match; however, Microsoft does not offer a concurrent licensing model.

Both of these examples lead to unbudgeted costs and a lower ROI than initially thought. Many times this error is discovered during a Microsoft audit.

Oracle and VMware

Oracle offers solid technologies across many areas of your business. Although many businesses deploy Oracle solutions on VMware virtual machines, Oracle’s T’s & C’s do not allow that deployment option, which can be discovered in a software audit. Many customers get charged not just for their licenses on the VMs, but on any and all hosts those VMs have the ability to move to as well. There are ways to ‘hard partition’ servers to reduce your Oracle license requirements; however, without careful reading of the fine print and deep Oracle expertise, it can be difficult for many IT teams to determine how this is done and with what hardware.

Work Together To Prevent Unbudgeted Surprises

By including other technologies and individuals within your organization in your software license discussions you can avoid these critical mistakes. This will lead to better decision making, lower costs, and more certainty in your budget.

Next time you’re evaluating a new or different solution, get more people involved. Ask questions about how this new solution will touch and impact your current environment from a licensing perspective, and work with a knowledgeable advisor to double check your work.


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